Premier League probe into Man City Football Leaks allegations would depend on “substantiated material”

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A City statement insists the documents behind a range of allegations made against the club are ‘purportedly hacked or stolen’ by Football Leaks

The Premier League says it will investigate allegations that Manchester City broke third-party ownership and UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations if "substantiated material" is presented.

Using documents obtained by Football Leaks, a number of media organisations have made a range of allegations against City over the past 10 days, including that the Premier League champions negotiated a watered-down punishment for failing FFP in 2014, and that the club's owner, Sheikh Mansour, has hidden millions of pounds of cash injections using Emirati club sponsors.

It was also alleged towards the end of last week that City signed an agreement with FC Nordsjaelland president Tom Vernon that would allow them to dictate the futures of West African talents to have signed for the Danish club through the Right to Dream academy.

Vernon issued a strenuous denial to Politiken, which ran the allegations: "We are confident that we are in compliance with all relevant football regulations in our running of Right to Dream and FC Nordsjaelland. No student was ever, and never will be, prevented from transferring from Right to Dream by any third party club, including Manchester City – and such a situation has never been discussed."

From the outset, City have insisted they will not comment on any allegations in addition to a short statement that claims Football Leaks garnered its information illegally.

”We will not be providing any comment on out of context materials purportedly hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people," the club said. "The attempt to damage the Club’s reputation is organized and clear.”

City boss Pep Guardiola also referred to "stolen emails" when he was asked about the FFP allegations during a press conference last week, and the legality of the Football Leaks material appears to be key in whether the Premier League can or will act.

In a statement, the league points out its "track record" of investigations, but that any such action against City is predicated on "substantiated material" arriving on its doorstep.

"The Premier League has a range of financial rules and disclosure obligations that apply to all clubs, and result in ongoing monitoring of club finances," the statement reads.

"If we receive any substantiated material that suggests our rules may have been breached, or relevant information has not been disclosed, we will investigate and have a track record of doing so.

"These processes are confidential and we do not comment publicly unless there is anything substantial to say."

According to the Telegraph, Football Leaks insists that it has obtained its documents and other material legally.

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The Premier League's own FFP regulations allow clubs to make losses of up to £105 million. City's accounts submitted to this date have not put them in danger of breaking those limits.

UEFA rules require clubs to break even, and despite growing pressure to investigate City, not least from the Spanish league, European football's governing body say it "cannot comment on specific cases due to confidentiality obligations which UEFA must respect."

FIFA confirmed on Friday that it is investigating the claims relating to potential TPO breaches: “Fifa is looking into this matter."

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